Peer Review Needed To Keep Our Universities World Class
Discussions concerning higher education conventions commonly revolve around undergraduate teaching, while neglecting the significance of research quality and the importance of PhD degrees. While financial aspects such as grants, tuition fees, and diversity are challenging issues, the strength of universities emanates from credible research. Mary Midgley’s opinion reflects on whether a doctorate caries value as a qualification. She stresses the need to address factors such as collegiality bias, poor supervision, and examination flaws that pose serious concerns with the current higher education system. The goodwill and ethics of most academics sustain the flawed system but do not provide sufficient grounds to produce the highest quality universities. A nationwide review to assess what it takes to achieve a doctoral degree is critical to developing a well-rounded system.
Mary Midgley’s observations regarding the impossibility of publishing significant research with no peer-review needs addressing. Great thinkers critical to scientific progress may not pass the peer review process. If giants such as Russell and Einstein were peers in this day and age, their critical publications would have limited access and hinder scientific progress. Future research could suffer as current research assessment standards may destroy the careers of outstanding prospects before they have had the chance to innovate. Policy-makers in higher education need to apply a more holistic approach to create and maintain a healthy education ecosystem. Mary Midgley’s ideas on challenging the higher education system deserve consideration as the future of academic excellence in research depends on rectifying the current flaws.